Media Believes Senator Lieberman Injured by Ballot Placement

Connecticut, like most states, does not treat all candidates equally, on the matter of ballot position. Major party nominees are automatically placed in the best spots on the ballot; then come previously qualified minor parties; then new parties; then independent candidates.

A minority of states, including all states in the 8th circuit, do give each party and each candidate an equal opportunity to appear on the best spot on the ballot. Courts outside the 8th circuit, for the most part, have refused to rule discriminatory ballot placement laws unconstitutonal, on the absurd grounds that it doesn’t make any difference.

News reports from the Connecticut U.S. Senate race make it clear that everyone in Connecticut who follows this issue does believe that ballot placement makes a difference in that race. There is speculation that the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, who will enjoy the best spot on the ballot (because the Republican Party won the 2002 gubernatorial election) will get an advantage from his ballot position. There is also consensus that Senator Lieberman will suffer from appearing 6th on the ballot, behind the lines reserved for the Democratic, Republican, Green, Constitution and Libertarian Parties (there is no Libertarian on the ballot for US Senate, but there are Libertarians on the ballot for certain other statewide offices, so in towns using the party-column style, a blank Libertarian square will appear above Lieberman).

Also, in certain legislative districts in Connecticut, as well as one congressional district, the Working Families Party is a ballot-qualified party for those district offices, and it will also appear above Lieberman, even though it also lacks a U.S. Senate candidate.


Media Believes Senator Lieberman Injured by Ballot Placement — 6 Comments

  1. I hate the preferential treatment given to major party candidates. Seems that even randomly drawing names from a hat would be a fairer way to determine placement on the ballot.

  2. I solved the problem of my own Ballot-position by fighting for the inclusion of my middle name, which makes the name easier to see, a larger target if nothing else. The Secretary of State approved and it was done 13 September, as I requested, though the ballot printing was held-up several days in the process.

  3. Yeah, I was rather suprised that Liberman actually qualified to be included on the ballot as an Independent as I thought that he had to sumbit ‘x’ number of valid petition signatures pretty much the day or so after the primary.

    Some random process would seem to make more sense of which party is on the ballot, first second, third, etc. I think it is randomly done in Minnesota or North Dakota, but I still that the qualified major party candidates (we tend to have three or four of those) appear first.

  4. Lieberman had to submit the signatures by the day after the primary but he had all ready collected them. The fact that he was collecting signature while running in the primary may have cost him the primary.
    The ballot order in CT is determined first by the last election for governor. Then qualified minot parties in alphabetical order then nonqualified minor parties which is technically what Lieberman is running as and then independents.

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